By Ameena Rasheed, Texas Southern University Journalism Major
I was able to attend the 2011 NABJ Multimedia Short Course at Florida A&M University, Sept. 8-11 and it was an exceptional experience. I learned a wealth of information that made me a better journalist and I feel the need to share those skills that I learned with my fellow NABJ students. Here we go!
1. This first tidbit is one that I received from Florida A&M University Professor Dorothy Bland. Expand your network and get involved in a multitude of journalism and professional organizations. From the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), there are a plethora of associations you can join to diversify your network. Try to shy away from keeping your circle of connections “strictly chocolate.”
2. Make sure you not only know current events, but details about historical events in history like 9/11. Don’t forget about government officials (President’s Cabinet and Supreme Court Justices) and international dignitaries. REMEMBER: Spelling counts, so make sure that you know the names of these people backwards and forwards. Many news organizations, like CNN, give current events quizzes to future employees. The last thing that you want to do is end up unemployed because of something like a misspelled name.
Y- Your brand. What is it? What are the things that no one can take from you? Integrity, hard working, attentive? Figure out what you are about.
E – Embrace a support system. Make sure that you have a mentor.
S – Skills. Know how to do it all and at the same time, become the go-to person for a certain something. Whether it is website design or producing video, find your niche.
Feel free to add in any other tips in the comments section and make sure that you check out the FAMU-NABJ blog: http://nabjmsc2011.wordpress.com/. I hope I was able to help another fellow NABJ student with me sharing what I learned from the short course. As you began to progress, you must always look back and help your peers. You have to “lift while you climb.”